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Travel health information for people travelling abroad from the UK

Scrub Typhus in Nepal (Chitwan)

02 Sep 2016

The media has reported 162 cases of scrub typhus infection in Chitwan in the last 4 months (May to August 2016). A Chitwan district public health officer has advised that 5 people have died of the scrub typhus infection since April.

A team from the Epidemiology and Diseases Control Division is working in the Chitwan district to conduct research into scrub typhus infection.

Advice for Travellers

Scrub typhus is an infection caused by a rickettsia-like bacteria. The infection is transmitted by infected larval trombiculid mites and rats or mice may act as reservoirs. Humans may become infected in areas where the mites and rodents are present, most often areas of low-lying scrub brush or vegetation.

Travellers should be aware of the risk of scrub typhus, particularly those visiting rural areas who should avoid close contact with this type of vegetation. The skin should be protected with clothing (ideally permethrin treated) and DEET insect repellent on exposed skin.